So, What is Psychology all about? Psychology is defined as the scientific study of human behavior; both the observable behavior i.e. body language, habits, appearance and lifestyle etc, as well as the non-observable behavior i.e. thinking, feelings, decision making, learning, intelligence, memory and so forth.
Psychology in the Past
Psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Discussions of these two subjects date as far back as t
he early Greek thinkers including Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, literally meaning ‘life’ or ‘breath.’ Derived meanings of the word include ‘soul’ or ‘self’ which made it the study of the soul.
Modern day psychology has rejected the word ‘soul’ to define psychology because the phenomenon of soul cannot be tested by the scientific methods. So what are the scientific methods that are used in understanding of human behavior and how is psychology the science in the first place?
Psychology as a Science
Psychologists use all the research methods that are used by the scientists of other fields which include:
Use empirical methods
Researchers control and manipulate variables
Allows for hypothesis testing
Results can be replicated
Findings allow researchers to predict future occurrences
Common misconceptions about Psychology
Psychologists are not face readers neither they are astrologists
It is often falsely believed that psychologists are trained to do face reading. No, psychologists are the social scientists, it’s not their job to predict about someone simply by looking at his face. Instead psychologists use structured interviews and questionnaires to understand personality type, they convert the information obtained from those interviews and questionnaires into objective form by interpreting the information into statistics. Only then they are able to describe and predict about someone’s personality.
Psychology is not just the study of abnormal people
In fact, the science of psychology, studies more normal people than it does abnormal people because there are so many branches of psychology i.e. forensic psychology, educational psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, cyberpsychology etc dedicated in understanding, raising the standard of living, productivity and efficiency of normal people, abnormal psychology is just the one branch of it. I will talk about the areas of psychology in more details in the next post.
This is the great resource for the knowledge about psychology.